The Agricultural Marketing Authority of Zimbabwe (AMA) has appointed business turnaround strategist Clever Isaya as its new chief executive officer as the organisation adopts a digital strategy to ease doing business in the sector.
AMA board chairperson Allan Majuru confirmed the appointment adding that the organisation was looking into adopting digital solutions in the wake of disruptions brought in by the deadly COVID-19.

BY Precious Chida

Isaya, a former senior executive in different information communication technology firms including Econet , Telecel and NetOne, immediately after being given the board vision, announced that the organisation was set to use digitalisation to promote accessibility of essentials in the agricultural sector.

“AMA is set to use digitalisation to promote accessibility of supplies essential for agriculture operational activities, reaching farmers with advisory, markets, financial, and supply chain services-all essential lifelines during these difficult times,” Isaya said.

A holder of a Master of Business Administration from the University of Gloucestershire (UK), Bachelor of Commerce Honours Degree (Marketing) at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Telecoms Mini MBA, Isaya has interests in ICTs and agriculture.

Majuru said there was a need to adopt a digital strategy to ease doing of business for farmers in line with government policy.

“Following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), most of planned activities, especially those that depended on interface with producers and merchants of agricultural products were affected.

“To address these challenges and come up with a sustainable solution going forward, AMA is developing digital solutions that will improve the functions of the organisation as well as reduce the time between inquiries by farmers and agro-merchants and auctioning,” Majuru said.

He added: “One of the activities earmarked for this digital solution drive is developing an interactive website and a mobile application that will, among other things, accommodate virtual training and timely registration of farmers and agro-merchants.”

He said this development is in line with global practices that have seen companies turning to virtual options as a response to challenges posed by the global pandemic.

“We need to appreciate the new reality and come up with swift measures that will allow AMA to remain relevant during and even after the pandemic.

“The reality is that, adoption of digital solutions will make it easy for the organisation to interface with all stakeholders interested in agriculture, which in turn, will result in improved service.”

“Given the reduced human interaction, AMA plans to simplify and scale up online registration of all value chain players and improve access to the national database of producers and merchants of agricultural products” he said.

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